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Old 06-15-2014, 07:04 PM   #1
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Best locker options

I have been looking at different threads and still need some more advice, i am looking for the most reliable, least maint. Locker to install. Should I go air or electric? I am thinking Eaton or ARB as my 2 choices. Thanks for the advice.

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Old 06-15-2014, 07:14 PM   #2
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I'm looking at the Auburn Gear ECTED (Electronically Controlled Traction Enhancing Differential). It's a limited slip when no engaged and a locker when engaged, best of both worlds.

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Old 06-15-2014, 07:35 PM   #3
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I'm looking at the Auburn Gear ECTED (Electronically Controlled Traction Enhancing Differential). It's a limited slip when no engaged and a locker when engaged, best of both worlds.
Does this work like the Eaton?
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:56 PM   #4
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As I said I'm still looking into it and I've read that there were problems with it not disengaging in the earlier versions, 2011 and before, but I think they have that all worked out.
I would read up on it more as I will also, but I'm still a year away from re-gearing so I haven't gotten fully into the details.
Here is Quadratecs explanation of it. Auburn Gear 545017 - ECTED Electrically Activated Lockers for Dana 30 with 27-Splines & 3.73 Gear Ratio and Numerically Higher - Quadratec
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:19 PM   #5
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They are both reliable. ARB requires additional on board air so the cost is a little higher but the OBA serves multiple purposes. Eaton recently made a change to there D44 E-locker, for the better/stronger. Honestly I can recommend either of them. They are both amazing units and probably the standard in electric and air traction devices, respectively.

However, another option for an air locker, I recommend is the Yukon Zip locker. Take a look at it.

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Old 06-15-2014, 10:34 PM   #6
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Does this work like the Eaton?
It's electric but not the same locking action. When unlocked it's a clutch type limited slip. Hit the switch and an electromagnet compresses the clutch packs.

I have one in the rear in my JK and it works great. The limited slip is great in the snow and it locks up my 35's just fine, even with one tire off the ground.

I have an E-Locker in the front and it works great too.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:49 PM   #7
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It's electric but not the same locking action. When unlocked it's a clutch type limited slip. Hit the switch and an electromagnet compresses the clutch packs.

I have one in the rear in my JK and it works great. The limited slip is great in the snow and it locks up my 35's just fine, even with one tire off the ground.

I have an E-Locker in the front and it works great too.
So by virtue of the electro magnet does this make the clutches a solid unit with no slip thus makeing it a locker. I have read in other threads some not considering them "true lockers" is this the reason.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:40 AM   #8
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At first glance the ARB's seemed overpriced, and then I bought one and all those thoughts went out the window. I would like to meet someone who has managed to break one in a JK. they overbuild them for a reason, you want to break a shaft before you break spider gears. shafts are cheap and easy to replace.

this one was in a 650HP nitrous rock bouncer on 46" tires for years. works just fine.


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Old 06-16-2014, 08:03 AM   #9
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So by virtue of the electro magnet does this make the clutches a solid unit with no slip thus makeing it a locker. I have read in other threads some not considering them "true lockers" is this the reason.
Yes. It effectively locks the axle. It doesn't engage teeth like the ARB and the E-Locker so the web wheelers think less of it but I can tell you from real experience in a real Jeep on real trails (not what I heard on the web) that it locks just fine.

Now, it may not work well with 40" tires and a Hemi swap but with a 3.6 and 35's it locks fine.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:50 AM   #10
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Thanks for that and that is the largest I'll ever go. I really like my LSD I the snow and do t want to give it up for lockers so this is a great product for my needs.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:06 AM   #11
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Thanks for that and that is the largest I'll ever go. I really like my LSD I the snow and do t want to give it up for lockers so this is a great product for my needs.
Your needs sound very similar to mine.

My JK is a mixed use Daily Driver / Weekend Wheeler. I love having the limited slip in the snow while daily driving. Between that and the Duratracs I never once had to engage 4WD to get up any hill during any snow storm we had last winter (up to a foot of unplowed snow). I did do 4WD to have fun power sliding but I never needed it to get anywhere.

And when I hit the trails on the weekends the limited slip helps me get through some obstacles. When I need more traction, it's a flip of a switch away.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:43 PM   #12
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Here's a couple of pics of the ARB Airlocker in a DANA44 with 4.88 gears. When I did my research last year ARB had the strongest engaging mechanism for the DANA30 front axle. Not sure if that's changed now. They weren't cheap though.


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Old 06-17-2014, 08:25 PM   #13
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Gotta say that ECTED looks like a killer option for the front axle!!
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:51 PM   #14
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Are you doing front and rear? ARB is the strongest locker on the market and regarded as the best built as well. I have a Rubi E locker in front (similar to an Eaton) and an ARB in the rear.

The main advantage of air vs. electric is that the air will lock and unlock faster and without the need to move. So if you're stuck, you can turn on the ARB and it will work. An E-locker will need to roll a bit to lock and unlock. So if you're already stuck, it may be too late.

This is also very helpful in front. If you come up a obstacle and need to turn -- with the ARB, you switch it off and can turn instantly. The E locker will take a few feet to unlock and make it hard to steer.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:59 AM   #15
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Are you doing front and rear? ARB is the strongest locker on the market and regarded as the best built as well. I have a Rubi E locker in front (similar to an Eaton) and an ARB in the rear.

The main advantage of air vs. electric is that the air will lock and unlock faster and without the need to move. So if you're stuck, you can turn on the ARB and it will work. An E-locker will need to roll a bit to lock and unlock. So if you're already stuck, it may be too late.

This is also very helpful in front. If you come up a obstacle and need to turn -- with the ARB, you switch it off and can turn instantly. The E locker will take a few feet to unlock and make it hard to steer.
Not entirely true for the aftermarket E-lockers such as eaton. I am able to engage and disengage without moving and have done so many times while almost vertical. I have Eaton's in the front and rear, in the rear is the new 4 pinion design and locks immediately. I am not sure about the old 2 pinion design, but, the newer design does not have any lag.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:26 PM   #16
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They are both reliable. ARB requires additional on board air so the cost is a little higher but the OBA serves multiple purposes. Eaton recently made a change to there D44 E-locker, for the better/stronger. Honestly I can recommend either of them. They are both amazing units and probably the standard in electric and air traction devices, respectively.

However, another option for an air locker, I recommend is the Yukon Zip locker. Take a look at it.

-Dan
X2 on OBA. If you plan to wheel OBA is something you'll want anyway. (Airing back up). The little portable units take forever. In that case the ARB becomes more reasonably priced.
I have Yukon upfront and ARB in the back.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:42 PM   #17
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Not entirely true for the aftermarket E-lockers such as eaton. I am able to engage and disengage without moving and have done so many times while almost vertical. I have Eaton's in the front and rear, in the rear is the new 4 pinion design and locks immediately. I am not sure about the old 2 pinion design, but, the newer design does not have any lag.
I haven't heard from many that have the new Eaton, but I trust what you're saying is correct. I have a Rubi E Locker up front and it takes a bit of rolling to unlock/lock. Maybe they improved that in the new version with the 4 pinion. We all know they took their sweet time releasing the 4 pinion. Sounds like they may have gotten it right.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:13 PM   #18
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I haven't heard from many that have the new Eaton, but I trust what you're saying is correct. I have a Rubi E Locker up front and it takes a bit of rolling to unlock/lock. Maybe they improved that in the new version with the 4 pinion. We all know they took their sweet time releasing the 4 pinion. Sounds like they may have gotten it right.
It was a pain finding that 4 pinion rear.. I bought right as they were changing. Got shipped the wrong one a few times, had it changed a few times, and finally got it right calling eaton themselves and getting the guys name and having quadratech call and get it drop shipped...
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:56 PM   #19
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It was a pain finding that 4 pinion rear.. I bought right as they were changing. Got shipped the wrong one a few times, had it changed a few times, and finally got it right calling eaton themselves and getting the guys name and having quadratech call and get it drop shipped...
I'll bet. Always hard getting a new model when they're trying to dump the old model from stock. I'll bet there are some people thinking they got the new one and ended up with the old one.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:28 PM   #20
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I have some ARB's in stock.

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Old 06-19-2014, 08:26 AM   #21
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Are you doing front and rear? ARB is the strongest locker on the market and regarded as the best built as well. I have a Rubi E locker in front (similar to an Eaton) and an ARB in the rear.

The main advantage of air vs. electric is that the air will lock and unlock faster and without the need to move. So if you're stuck, you can turn on the ARB and it will work. An E-locker will need to roll a bit to lock and unlock. So if you're already stuck, it may be too late.

This is also very helpful in front. If you come up a obstacle and need to turn -- with the ARB, you switch it off and can turn instantly. The E locker will take a few feet to unlock and make it hard to steer.
I am looking at putting the ARB just in the front for the time being, what performance will I have in the front axel with it unlocked and in 4wheel drive? I am assuming I will still get on wheel to turn, am I correct?
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:44 AM   #22
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I am looking at putting the ARB just in the front for the time being, what performance will I have in the front axel with it unlocked and in 4wheel drive? I am assuming I will still get on wheel to turn, am I correct?
Unlocked will have no effect, exactly as it operates now.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:34 AM   #23
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I am looking at putting the ARB just in the front for the time being, what performance will I have in the front axel with it unlocked and in 4wheel drive? I am assuming I will still get on wheel to turn, am I correct?
The rear axle is typically where you put the first locker. It's usually the larger axle (DANA44). With the ARB system, you can't engage the front locker without first engaging the rear locker. The Rubicon has the same feature. Rear only, or front and rear together. Remember, with the front locker engaged, you lose most of your steering. Unless you're on extremely soft terrain like sand or loose dirt.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:20 PM   #24
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no one has mentioned ox yet? that's about all anyone down here is running, and you get the ability to use air, electric or cable(and can change later if you want). also, the ability to manually lock or unlock on the trail is nice for piece of mind
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:21 PM   #25
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Just got rear ARB locker and it's going in next week also great for OBA for airing up tyres.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:55 PM   #26
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I went with buying a Rubicon
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:59 PM   #27
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I went with buying a Rubicon
Super helpful
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:51 PM   #28
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The rear axle is typically where you put the first locker. It's usually the larger axle (DANA44). With the ARB system, you can't engage the front locker without first engaging the rear locker. The Rubicon has the same feature. Rear only, or front and rear together. Remember, with the front locker engaged, you lose most of your steering. Unless you're on extremely soft terrain like sand or loose dirt.
Agree that the rear should be done first since it is the stronger axle and doesn't inhibit steering.


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no one has mentioned ox yet? that's about all anyone down here is running, and you get the ability to use air, electric or cable(and can change later if you want). also, the ability to manually lock or unlock on the trail is nice for piece of mind
I have heard good things about Ox, but never actually talked to someone on a trail that has one. I will consider Ox when my front locker goes out. I can't get the 35 spline ARB in the front because my axle is sleeved so it won't fit. Looks like Ox is a strong possibility.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:53 PM   #29
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Super helpful
Yeah, really lol.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:59 PM   #30
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With the ARB system, you can't engage the front locker without first engaging the rear locker.
Ummm okay

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